WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Mike McIntyre has represented the 7th Congressional District in southeastern North Carolina for more than a decade. The Democrat is up for reelection again, but the road to keep his seat has become a 24-hour task, campaigning to fend off the challenger Ilario Pantano.
"This is home, and we want to help our home, and as long as God gives us the strength and people give us the opportunity, then that's what we would like to do is serve," McIntyre said.
McIntyre is a familiar face among voters. The Democrat from Robeson County was first elected to serve back in 1996. He says representing his home is one of the most fulfilling jobs he's ever had.
"Southeastern North Carolina has always been my home," McIntyre said. "I grew up in Lumberton. My family has been here for over 200 years. In fact some of my ancestors landed at the Port of Wilmington."
McIntyre believes being from this area has helped him be a successful Congressman; understanding where his constituents are coming from.
"We know the people. We know the issues. This has been home for us all these years," he said.
In his time away from work, McIntyre enjoys working out and spending time with his sons on the golf course.
"Once every seven to eight weeks, if I get a couple of hours. Sometimes three to four hours with one of my boys to go play golf. We have beautiful golf courses in this area," McIntyre said.
Out of all the races this election season, McIntyre has one of the most talked about and controversial.
"It's horrible when you have given your heart and soul to an area you love to have your record and your reputation distorted and almost virtually destroyed by half truths and outright deceptive advertising," he said. "I have to be straight forward about that, because people who know me know that I have always worked with people on both sides of the aisle. I work with people on the issue not whether it's a republican or democratic issue but what is the issue. I don't think our beaches are only open to Democrats or Republicans, and I know our health clinics and hospitals are not, and I know our military bases are not."
Despite all the activity, McIntyre says he's focused on the task at hand: keeping his seat in Congress. But many voters want to know about his support for controversial House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. During a live interview on WWAY NewsChannel 3 at 5:30 Thursday, McIntyre, a moderate Blue Dog Democrat, says he won't support her to be Speaker again if reelected.
"From what we're hearing, she's probably not going to run for Speaker again. And if she does, I'm confident she's going to have opposition, and I look forward to supporting that opposition," McIntyre said. "We want to have a more moderate type of alternative for leadership, and I'm confident we're gonna have that alternative. You know, when she had opposition before, I voted for her opposition, not for her. And we're expecting her to have opposition this time."
Next week we'll sit down with Pantano to find out more about him and his campaign to win McIntyre's seat in Washington.